Saturday, October 23, 2021
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Nurse Layoffs: Union says Alberta Health Services is cutting 750 positions

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The United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) is demanding an emergency meeting with Alberta’s UCP Health Minister.

The union says hundreds of front-line Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses will lose their jobs in massive downsizing planned by Alberta Health Services.

In a news release Friday, UNA President Heather Smith says the elimination of that many RN and RPN FTEs, equivalent to over a million fewer hours of care, will mean more than 750 front-line Registered Nurses will be laid off.

“Premier Jason Kenney and other members of the United Conservative Party promised repeatedly during last spring’s election campaigns that the cuts they planned would not touch front-line health care workers,” says Smith

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Premier Kenney was asked about the cuts during a trip to Lake Louise to speak to a business conference. He told reporters Friday his government has always been clear that getting the province’s finances back in order will require some reduction in the size of the overall public service, and that they hope to achieve that primarily through attrition.

Alberta’s NDP Opposition is voicing concerns over the layoffs. New Democrat Health Critic, David Shepherd says this will have a serious impact on both patient care, and on communities where the hospital is a major employer. “The premier’s warning that bed closures are on the way is a direct threat to Alberta’s rural hospitals,” Shepherd said.

The Friends of Medicare issued a statement Friday as well saying this is not a solution to balancing the budget and not what Albertans voted for.

Report have the restructuring starting as early as 2020.

(Files from UNA Release & CBC)

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of News Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and Funeral Assistant since 2016.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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